Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Naked Noodle Presents Chinese Fakeaway.

Takeaway, an essential in the student diet. Where else are you going to find food that you actually want to eat that doesn't take cooking and contains vegetables (something that most students won't bother to try and afford for at least the first semester...)?

Thing is, it gets awfully expensive very quickly and who can even begin to imagine how bad it is to live a life of takeouts, nights out and little sleep...

But I think that I may have found a solution.

Naked Noodle Chow Mein. Somewhat similar to the Chinese counter part and ready in a whole less time.

The instructions are simple, drop the noodles and seasoning into boiling water, bring to the boil again and leave for 4 minutes and you're done.

Add chicken and veg if you really fancy pushing the boat out. I just fried chopped chicken and cooked the frozen veg in the microwave but the whole meal can be complete in under 10 minutes (which is about the time it takes to choose and order with the Chinese down the road...)

The best bit? The noodles cost £0.89. So the whole meal is literally a couple of pounds, which isn't bad when it tastes somewhat like the original. And you can't rally go wrong for the size of  the portion. Hindsight says that it could possibly go two ways but me being greedy finished the lot of one lunchtime...

I'll definitely be back to try the rest of the range, that's the noodles and rices!

Anyone for Beef Teriyaki Noodles?

Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this post. All views are my own.

Monday, 27 October 2014

How being a student is somewhat like being a toddler...

Living life a student is almost akin to living in the twilight zone between being a 'child' and remaining dependent on your parents and flying the nest and becoming a financially fully fledged adult (scary thought!). But there is several reasons why students can take that one step further back and be compared to toddlers...

Revision Meltdown.
1.Naps - Before University, naps were reserved for those days when you were ill but this changed as soon as you get to university. Naps are the vital part of actually surviving your time because realistically in your first year, the nights out and 11 oclock early lectures are not a clever combination, especially when you haven't had sleep.

2.Hours can be lost infront of the TV. - Netflix is something that every student should and probably does have. There is nothing better than losing an afternoon to an assortment of old films when realistically coursework and assignments should take priority. It is the ultimate procrastination tool and boredom killer.

3.Mess is everywhere! - The mess is exactly how I imagine it to be with a toddler, and an inquisitive one at that. Drawers are left open, the contents strewn everywhere. Food packaging sits on the floor and the washing up is left on the side, until someone thinks that covering the kitchen in bubbles sounds like fun...

4. Potty Training - Although by this age students should be able to control themselves, there has been an awful lot of students who seem to lose control on a night out... More than you'd have thought considering this is one part of their life you'd expect them to have their s**t together, so to speak...

5.Tantrums - This may not happen straight away, but pile a couple of deadlines on a student, then add in the inevitable technological setbacks (there is nothing worse than a good days work gone in the moment of a computer crash...). There will be tears, and panic attacks and just general stropping for no reason. Best bet is to let it go and sit down with a movie and chocolate (See reason number 3.)

What do you think? Students and Toddlers have similarities?

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Coffee #1 - Palmerston's Hidden Gem

After finding that I'm at my wits end after spending my time between lectures, my room & the library, I like to find  somewhere different to settle down for a few hours and just take the time to watch the world go by (God, how clich├ęd is that sounding?!)

But I have found myself the perfect little hide away.

Just off the most hidden high street in Portsmouth, Palmerston Road, Coffee #1 has set up shop and become that little oasis of calm in my somewhat crazy life.

It's dark walls would lead you to think that it should be dark and uninviting but it is in fact the complete opposite. There is so much light being let in from above, and coupled with the quirky wall art, makes Coffee #1 feel welcoming. Coffee #1 has oodles of character which is built from the decoration and mishmash chairs that surround the tables.

The staff themselves are friendly, chatty and make you feel welcome, even when you cannot choose from the rather extensive variety of cakes that they have on offer. This service is wonderful when it isn't so busy but I can imagine it would make service slow at the peak times. Although its definitely worth waiting if you have time and inclination.

What sets Coffee #1 apart from your other coffee shops? They care about the environment. More so than the next company. Napkins the napkins encourage you to take only what you need because they're from trees which aren't going to be around forever and the coffee is ethically sourced - according to the BF tasted pretty good as well.

Safe to say I will definitely be back. With a book, and a few hours to kill.

Monday, 20 October 2014

The perfect tablet case?

I have somehow become one of those high-tech students who sits in lectures writing my notes on my iPad whilst trying to keep up with what the lecturer is saying. My notes are organised and saved in multiple places so that an major technology crash means I won't lose everything - which is a far cry from the stack of scrunched up paper I tried to pass as last years notes...                                                                                           The fact that my iPad is a vital part of my university kit (and the pretty much all of my life...) and is something I can't live without, means I tend to take as much care as I possibly  can. This begins with a decent case that gives me the chance to adjust the angle of the screen so that I can type the words as they fall out of the lecturers mouth, and ends with me just generally being careful and not putting my iPad into any stupid situations. 

I used to have a cheapish lime green case, much like the many available online that served its purpose well but had worn out past the point of help. but the wonderful people at Logitech stepped in and asked me to try the Logitech Hinge case and give it a good run for its money.                                                                                                                             Well what can I say? I'm impressed. The case itself is sturdy and even though I received it way back in August and its taken a fair bit of a beating day in day out, it still looks exactly as it did when I received it. I'm loving the fact that I can full adjust the angle of the screen - something that my old case never did - perfect for when the sunlight is just reflecting through the window at that odd angle. The case also has that really clever (which really isn't so clever, I'm just easily entertained...) which turns the iPad off when its closed and on when its open. 
My only downside? The colours somewhat match my carpet... (Although, I quite happen to like it!)

Thursday, 16 October 2014

5 ways to sell yourself to companies!

It's reached that point in my degree where I have to start to think about my future after university and I must admit the idea of the future used to terrify me. But I think I may have reached a point where I have an idea of where I want to be in a years time. And it's exciting!

I have only managed to achieve this by attending the Graduate Fair & Networking evening organised by my university. These events gave me chance to talk to people in industry and sell myself. Only thing is, is finding a way to sell myself and stand out from the other couple of hundred students all in the same situation as me.

So my top five tips are:

1. Be confident - whats the worse that can happen? You make a fool out of yourself in front of someone you've never met? Stand up tall, take a breath and be sure to talk about what you know. Having that level of confidence will set you apart from the other shy, retiring types which is a fair few people before you've started.

2. Research the particular company and choose quality over quantity -  Pick the companies that look like they will benefit you, but be picky. It is better to focus on few companies and do well with them than choose lots and find that you haven't given them enough to leave a lasting mark on the people that matter. Plus by researching you are again setting yourself apart. It saves you asking questions that could easily be answered and give you conversation topics if you find yourself struggling.

3.Dress smart - Take the time to dress up. Stick with formal clothes. It just shows that you can make the effort and this will reflect better on you.

4. Have business cards/CV's to hand - This is your chance to leave your mark. Give them something so that when they get back to the office they still remember you. The smallest things can have the biggest impact.

5. Take the time to talk to the staff - This is your time to shine. Take the time to interact with the staff. At networking events, you will find that the staff are interested in you and that you can learn a lot from them. I certainly have!

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

3 Minute Chocolate Cake.

Chocolate Week is now fully underway and so today I'm sharing my go-to chocolate cake recipe, ready in under five minutes and perfect for when you just need that little indulgence...

All that you need:
- 4 tablespoons of flour
- 4 tablespoons of sugar
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons of milk
- 3 tablespoons of oil
- A splash of vanilla extracts
(And if you want to be a little bit more naughty 3 tablespoons of chocolate chips)

All that you need to do:
-Take one large mug
-Add all dry ingredients, stir.
-Add egg, stir.
-Add milk & oil, stir.
-Add chocolate chips & vanilla extract, stir.
- Put mug in microwave and cook for 3 minutes on high. (Don't panic if the cake rises over the top of the mug...)
-Allow to cool and tip out onto a plate.
-Tuck in!

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Naansters - Naan on the go.

Laziness and a dodgy timetable are the two things that make being organised near on impossible. And with the lack of organisation means that the first thing to go is proper food. There just seems not to be enough time to cook everything from scratch as much as I try

I love my food but I now find that I don't have time to make myself a proper meal but there are some very clever people out there that have solved my lack of time and created a filled naan-bread that is ready with just seconds. It is literally as simple as unwrapping, putting it in the microwave, wait for the ping, and then tuck into the light fluffy naan breads filled with curry and rice.

Naansters have revolutionised my lunchtimes (and dinner times and even snack times) especially when I only have an hour to get back from university, cook, eat and then get back all in time for my next lecture. I've worked my way through the four flavours; Balti Chicken,  Beef Madras, Chicken Tikka and Vegetable Tikka and would definitely eat all four flavours - although, my favourite is definitely the chicken tikka... Mind you, most people know that I love nothing more than an Indian takeaway or curry at the local pub so these snacks would find it difficult to be wrong in my eyes...

So when you are next doing the food shopping and need something quick and convenient to eat, keep your eyes peeled for naansters. You won't regret it.